David Suzuki Foundation, Equiterre & OCAA Letter to Morneau & Sohi

February 17, 2016 – The David Suzuki Foundation, Equiterre and the Ontario Clean Air Alliance are calling on the Government of Canada to invest in electricity transmission system upgrades that will allow increased electricity trade between Quebec and Ontario.

Increased integration of the two provinces’ electricity systems can lead to lower electricity rates and greenhouse gas emissions for Ontario and higher export revenues for Quebec. It will also allow Hydro Quebec’s huge water power reservoirs to be used like a giant battery to convert Ontario’s intermittent solar and wind power into a firm 24/7 source of electricity for Ontario consumers.

“This is perfect win-win combination, with Ontario getting better access to Quebec’s low-cost water power and Quebec getting access to a lucrative new market,” says Jack Gibbons, Chair of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance.

At a total cost of approximately $2 billion, expanded connections between the two provinces could permit Ontario to obtain up to 27% of its electricity supplies from Quebec.

Quebec is the fourth largest producer of water power in the world and has a large and growing surplus of power available for export.  Ontario needs new electricity supplies since most of its aging nuclear reactors will come to the end of their lives during the next ten years.

“By improving energy efficiency, Quebec could free up billions of additional kilowatt hours of clean water power for export, so it can serve both its traditional market in the U.S. Northeast and Ontario while earning new revenues it can put toward transit or other low-carbon infrastructure,” says Steven Guilbeault, Senior Director of Equiterre.

“Enhancing our ability to support low-carbon transitions by provinces is a key role for the federal government and an excellent use of the infrastructure dollars the government is planning to spend. This is an example of a project that helps provinces work together to move to a clean, green energy future,” says Ian Bruce, Director of Science and Policy at the David Suzuki Foundation.

To read the environmental groups letter to Finance Minister Moreau and Infrastructure Minister Sohi please click here.

To read Equiterre’s and the Ontario Clean Air Alliance’s backgrounder, “The Benefits and Costs of Increased Electricity Trade Between Quebec and Ontario”, please click here.

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For more information:

 

Gideon Forman                                                                                                 416-348-9885 x 1575

David Suzuki Foundation                                                                               gForman@davidsuzuki.org

 

Dale Robertson                                                                                                 514-605-2000

Equiterre                                                                                                             drobertson@equiterre.org

 

Jack Gibbons                                                                                                      416-260-2080 x 2

Chair, Ontario Clean Air Alliance                                                                Jack@CleanAirAlliance.org